If it wasn’t for Hugh, she would have never said yes to this absurd commission.
Working for Federacy was bad enough, but working under the Royal fleet itself was a million times worse.
Her Majesty’s spawn.
Aurora sneered, releasing the primary thrusters of the Bastet and quickly manoeuvred it under the ship. It kept on descending until she was about three hundred meters away from it. Her fingers elegantly touched the control pad as she entered the coordinates of the debris field.
Between her and the enemy, lies one of the biggest debris fields in the Galaxy; the 'Conduit' Sector. Still haunted by the ghost of the last war, this sector was filled with destroyed ships, Nexus, and dead soldiers still clad in their spacesuits who drifted off waiting for someone to find them. It truly was the Galaxy’s grave.
But for Aurora, this grave was the best battlefield she could ask for. With her adrenaline pumping, she stepped on the pedal. The three main thrusters on the protruded wings let out a white light. As Bastet left behind the inertial motion of the Ark, it propelled around and approached the debris field from below.
Within the vicinity of her spherical cockpit, Aurora grinned. The panoramic screen display projected a full 360° of the scenery outside. As the reddish hue of the Cosmic gas from the Conduit sector flooded in, her midnight blue eyes gazed at the scenery with awe; her heartbeat increasing as she felt herself floating through space.
Thanks to the live image actuator, the mechanism responsible for the panoramic view, the scenery that Aurora could see was generated artificially projected by the OS of Nexus using videos fed to it by multiple cameras embedded on Bastet. Despite knowing all of that, she couldn’t help but gaze at the vast expanse of space in awe.
However, she was brought back to reality quite swiftly as the enemy drones finally came into view. The panoramic screen now enlarged the images of the enemy drones, giving Aurora a good look at them.
“The four digits..” She murmured as she kept moving through the debris field.
Dodging chunks of metals and occasional debris of "sunken" ships, she spun around and went into a downward spiral activating her tail thruster, taking a sharp turn at the last moment, as she lowered the head of the Nexus pointing it towards the centre of the Debris field.
Four digits, unlike the single-digit Nexus, such as ‘Bastet’, were fairly new models that were deployed by the Federacy recently. They were the type of Nexus that was designed for search and rescue operations. They were currently used by Federacy’s Space fleet as a backup unit at the central sector of the Galaxy where the war against Principality still raged.
However, at the hands of the ‘Galactic Pirates’, they seemed to have been modified to make use of them in space combat. But what could copies possibly do?
Let me show you what Bastet can do. You pathetic imitations of the Single Digit.
Aurora spun her joystick around as she barrel-rolled through a small crevice in a random asteroid that blocked her way. As she propelled through the dark tunnel her eyes fell upon her datapad.
Attached to the left side of the main monitor screen was the datapad that glowed as it displayed the map of the Conduit Sector. White dots ran down at the centre of the steak-shaped sector indicating the debris that was floating. On the bottom right were the two-coloured flags of the Federacy, emblazoned with a star at the centre of it; that was the ‘Ark’ her mothership. At the top left, there were two red dots approaching the debris field; those were her prey.
Bastet slowed down as it reached the exit of the spiralling tunnel. Aurora had an idea. She wanted to settle this bout quickly.
As she exited the tunnel, she spun Bastet around and descended, trying to find a good place to hide. She finally positioned Bastet under the Asteroid.
Aurora quickly observed her surroundings, her midnight blue eyes darting around trying to make sure she had a clear vision of the Four-Digit Nexus. Her rosy lips pursed into a sweet smile as the visuals of the first Four-digit Nexus came into the vision of Bastet’s optical sensors.
She swiftly punched in commands on her console, bringing out the particle cannon; it was a 129mm long-range barrel, installed with a hyper capacitor allowing the beam to be fired at a super long range. She placed the cannon on the rugged surface of the asteroid, as she adjusted the crosshairs against the emerging figure of her prey, she could see it closing distance as the image of her enemy slowly became bigger on her display.
I love my job.
A feeling of pleasure washed over Aurora. She smirked; today was a great day for her. Despite the annoying blabbering of her operator that she could care less about, it seemed like the universe had decided to be kind to her, to give her such inferior prey.
As the Four-Digit Nexus entered her range, a beep went off.
“Let the Nexus hunting begin.” She said, her voice laced with malice as a devious grin broke out on her face.
She pulled the trigger and then it began; energy accumulated at the actuator before turning into a ball of pure energy and finally being released as a beam of purple light, travelling at a speed of 299,337,984 m/s, as it cut through the Debris field annihilating anything that came in its way, before finally reaching the target.
Everything happened so suddenly that the pilot of the Four-Digit Nexus couldn’t react on time. The particle beam had hit the chest melting the armour coating on the spot before finally reaching the cockpit, evaporating them right on the spot.
There was nothing they could have done except pray as death came knocking at their door.
“My condolences to the poor soul who just lost their life.” Aurora grinned, as she made finger-guns at the destroyed Nexus. “If you have anything to blame, then let it be your weakness. Pew!”
The panoramic display was streaked with the remnants of the purple glow as Bastet moved upwards. Using the right-wing thruster, Aurora turned around and adjusted the course towards her next target.
A sudden burst of a red beam grazed Bastet’s abdomen barely missing the cockpit. Aurora quickly spiralled downwards, the sudden attack had caught her off guard. On her datapad, she could see the red dot from before was now behind her.
“You, Imitation!” She snarled in frustration. “How dare you?”
Her eyes narrowed as she studied the brand new dent on Bastet’s abdomen. Her fists clenched as she spun Bastet’s body backwards and then without taking proper aim, she fired the Particle cannon again, this time missing her target intentionally.
Using the stray particle beam as a diversion, she pressed hard on the pedal, thrusting forward, towards the other Four-Digit Nexus.
“You really need to be taught a lesson on how to treat a lady,” Aurora smirked as she travelled at a speed so fast that even the G-Force resistance in the cockpit couldn’t help her.
She traversed through the debris field at a phenomenal speed, not even once hitting a single stray object. Those who were observing the battle from far away thought of Bastet as a comet cutting through space, leaving a trail of white light at its wake.
Bastet rammed into the side of the Four-Digit Nexus as Aurora brought out the magenta photon sabre swinging it at the wings of the enemy Nexus, taking out its propulsion system first.
The Four-Digit Nexus, which was busy dodging the Particle Beam, ignored the alarm of his proximity sensor; he was too caught up with dodging the particle beam. However, just for the sake of being safe, he had left the battle system on auto and that was what had saved Luca Morrenieta from the incoming onslaught of the White-Cat.
Armed with a photon sabre himself, Luca instinctively activated it and spun his blue Nexus around as the red beam clashed with magenta, sending sparks throughout the debris field. The shockwave that followed the initial clash pushed both Nexus' away from each other.
Aurora, who had been accelerating at tremendous speeds suddenly came to a halt, sending her body backwards as she felt a sudden urge to throw up. Her eyeballs rattled in her skull, threatening to fly out, and her arms swelled as blood flowed into them.
“Nexus Drive,” Aurora muttered, as a golden light ran over Bastet, pulsing through the entire system, the triple optical sensors on its head that were glowing red, got replaced by a bright golden. The same glow surrounded Aurora making her eyes change colours to orange. A pair of cat-ears tinged in black-golden manifested over her head.
“Let the games begin,” Aurora smirked.
As the mechanism hummed to life, the armoured chest opened up removing the bulky metal plate and using it as a shield, from its arms came out three spherical drones that hovered around Bastet, before launching themselves at the Four-Digit.
“They have really done it this time, Bastet,” Aurora grit her teeth as she sent a glassy stare towards the Four-Digit. “Launch the drones.”
They moved fast, closing in on the enemy Nexus attacking it from three sides. Using the datapad, she controlled the three drones and positioned them into a wedge formation as they began shooting lasers at the already dysfunctional Four-Digit.
The lasers that the spherical drones fired were not as powerful as the particle cannon; but for a tired and scared pilot like Luca, they were a nightmare. Without thinking his fingers grabbed ahold of his joystick willing his Nexus into an attacking stance. But before he could activate his thrusters, one of the drones attacked the central thruster on its spine, rendering the Nexus useless by the quick manoeuvre.
Luca panicked and started shooting randomly, trying his best to hit those tiny attackers; however, the sphere drones continued to do their job, breaking down the enemy bit by bit. The machine fluid leaked out of the damaged areas floating into space looking like blood.
“I finally got you where I wanted” Aurora licked her lips as she fixed a predatory glare at her prey with a sense of dominance. She propelled Bastet towards the Four-Digit Nexus again with its Photon Saber pointed at its cockpit.
What is this feeling?
She thought as a smile appeared on her face. Her body was burning with adrenaline, her canines now out, looking like fangs, as she grinned. They appeared sharper because of the bloodlust in her eyes. The girl didn't even seem human anymore.
I don’t understand this but I like it. She thought to herself, sensing the Four-Digit’s helplessness from afar.
Her fingers clutched onto the joystick, excitement and anticipation imminent as her intimidating eyes never left the sight of her prey. For her, time seemed to have slowed down and it was almost as if she could see a million things happening around her at the same time while perfectly perceiving everything.
She rammed the 6-meter-long photon sabre into the chest of the Four-Digit Nexus. The enemy Nexus seemed like it wanted to reach its own photon sabre but reacted too slowly.
The photon sabre that could cut through 30 centimetres of metal in a second, melted through Nexus’s chest, evaporating the cockpit as well as the pilot along with it.
As Aurora pulled out her photon sabre, all the adrenaline and predator instinct that had overtaken her senses finally dissipated and she relaxed. After a long battle, even though she didn’t mind killing people for the sake of a living, the act of killing in itself was a heavy sin to bear. As she closed her eyes, her lips curled into a miserable smile.
The spherical drones returned and she once again put the coordinates into the system, switching on the autopilot for the rest of her journey back to the ship. Her eyes felt heavy with the exhaustion from concentrating and manoeuvring around recklessly.
On her journey back, Aurora pulled off her helmet and stretched her body as she leaned back on the leather seat. Her eyes gazed at the reddish gas that enveloped the entire zone. It was a beautiful scene in her opinion. As Bastet cruised through the field, Aurora was once again overwhelmed with the feeling of flying among the stars and the thoughts about the battle that took place moments ago left her.
At that moment, sixteen-year-old, Aurora Dastune smiled as she hummed a song, whose lyrics she had long forgotten. Closing her eyes, she let her body relax, not thinking about what was waiting for her back on the Mothership.
Inside the Bridge of the Beluga class spaceship carrier ‘Ark’ stood a young lady in her early twenties, clad in her scarlet red dress that kissed her shoulders as the fabric at the bottom reached out until the floor, gazing at the Bastet cruising slowly towards the Hangar. Brushing her white hair to the side she ordered:
“Bring her to me.” She stopped. “And if she refuses, tell her we will pay ten times more than what was decided.”
“Yes, your highness.” The Captain of the ship replied as he bowed down as he internally screamed-Ten times?!
The lady in question here was the firstborn Princess of the Galactic Federacy dressed in her royal scarlet garments. She smiled to herself:
The rumours were true. She really is the White-Cat. The user of the Single Digit Nexus
“I have finally found you,” She murmured, as her dark fingers gripped the silver bracelet on her wrist. “The first key that would lead me to the Lost Paradise.”
A/N Hey everyone AuthorAtish here and welcome to the end of chapter two. Damn you guys really stuck till the very end, I am speechless, but jokes aside thank you so much for your love and support in Chapter 1, like 1.4K views in one chapter! God damn, you guys are going to make me cry one of these days ; u ;.
>Some Extra Bonus Content here:
1.Conduit Sector: For those who read it in this chapter, the Conduit sector was basically inspired by World War 2 war zones, in Lost Paradise there was a Galactic War that took place centuries ago at the Periphery and this sector is the remnant of that war. It was fun using it.
2.Photon Sabre: This one was tough xD I was so compelled to write Light Sabre but alas I don't want Darth Vader knocking on my door now Do I?.
> Now for the finale I present you my editor Cosmo :3
Cosmo: You really want me to do this?
Atish: Yes! Why not its always good to interact with the readers, and what could be better than bringing in the Editor behind Lost Paradise themselves. (Drumrolls)
Cosmo: Welp, okay! Behold, readers, for it is I, Cosmo, the Eternal Editor! * crickets chirp* Anyways, nice to meet you all!
Atish: That was some interesting... Introduction. (Trying hard not to laugh) Anyways, Cosmo, how does it feel like to be editing after so long?
Cosmo: It has been great. Late-night requests and editing till 5 am and then sleeping at 6 is the dream. But in all honesty, I love editing. It was just that school kept me busy for a while.
Atish: So abo-
Cosmo *going off track*: Btw Did I tell you I am dying my hair tomorrow?
Atish: No you didn't.
Cosmo: Now I have
Aurora: YOU ARE BORING EVERYONE! GUYS COME ON THIS SECTION IS SUPPOSED TO BE ABOUT ME
Atish: Ah Aurora what are yo doing here?
Aurora: Saving this section from becoming boring? Because you my creator decided it would be fun to start the interview without me.
Atish: But this is not what we decide. You are not supposed to come out until Chapter 4
Aurora: Who died and made you my boss!
Cosmo on sidelines sipping Soda: This is great.
Aurora muffled scream: HEY WHAT ABOUT MY INTERVIEW DEBUT!!
<Also special reveal in Chapter 3; Aurora and Bastet illustrated>